“Political thriller” A Boxer saied. Italian cinema had its glory days in the 1950s and 60s, starting with the Neorealismo (Ger. – ignore all that post-modernist nonsense speak in this article -, Eng.) of the 1940s that culminated in the masterpiece Roma, città aperta (Ger., Eng.) from 1945. The (semi-)documentary style of many later productions surely was heavily influenced by that.
The film I want to recomend here, impressed my when I saw it for the first time on tv, sometimes in the 1970s. Directed by Francesco ROSI (dt.Artikel) (1922) (Ger., Eng.) it deals with the development of post war Naples. ROSI made some very interesting and controverse films in the post-neorealistic aera, later he turned towards the filmization of literature and made pictures from works of Primo LEVI (Ger., Eng.) and G.G.MÁRQUEZ (Ger., Eng.).
Edoardo NOTTOLA is a ruthless businessman and member of the council of the city of Napoli. He uses everybody for his success. A house collapses, people die. An inquiry is made. In one of the key scenes NOTTOLA is embraced by a senior member of the council, he’s back in from the cold. Things are fixed, all is well. They are ALL corrupt. The construction business always was one of the strongholds of the Camorra (Ger., Eng.), until this very day.
The film is named Le mani sulla città (It., Eng.) (1963), NOTTOLA is embodied by Rodney Stephen STEIGER (1925-2002) (Ger., Eng.).
Here is a part of a documentation about the film, showing (from 1:13) how people lived in Neapolis 1963.